So you’ve mastered your vanilla soft serve recipe and now you’re looking to add more variety to your soft serve line-up. Fruity ice creams are always a hit with the customers, as they’re cool and refreshing, marrying the tangy sweetness of fruit to the comforting deliciousness of vanilla and cream. But how do you use fruit in a soft serve ice cream maker? Read on to uncover the basics of making fruity soft serve flavors.
4 Rules for Using Fruit in a Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker
1. Don’t Use Whole Fruit
You may be thinking that making fruit soft serve is a simple as adding cut-up fruit to your vanilla ice cream base, but that would be a big mistake. Fruits have a high water content, which means that using fruit whole in your soft serve will result in icy chunks of fruit disrupting your smooth, creamy soft serve. Not only is this an unpleasant eating experience, but it can also be dangerous! If you want your customers to keep their teeth, don’t use whole fruits.
2. Using Frozen Fruit
Using frozen fruit may be the easiest way to add fruit into your soft serve. Following the first rule, it’s essential that you don’t use the frozen fruit whole. Even though it’s been frozen, this fruit still has a high water content and poses the same danger to your customer’s teeth if used whole. Instead, frozen fruit needs to be macerated in order to be safe to use in soft serve.
When using frozen fruit, we recommend using berries, such as blueberries or raspberries, as they retain the most flavor when frozen. To macerate your fruit, place 24 oz of berries in a container, then add around 1 cup of sugar. You may need to adjust the recipe to ensure you’re not over-sugaring your product. Mix the ingredients together and let them sit in a cool place overnight. The next day, you should have a syrupy puree that’s perfect for adding into soft serve.
3. Using Fresh Fruit
Sometimes fresh is better, as certain fruits can lose a lot of flavor when frozen. Or maybe you have a connection with a local farmer and you’d like to showcase their produce in your soft serve. Whatever the case may be, fresh fruit must be given the same treatment as frozen to be usable in your ice cream. Macerating fresh fruit will result in a softer texture. We recommend giving extra time for tougher-skinned fruits, such as apples or grapes.
4. Don’t Use Too Much Sugar
Because fruit needs to be macerated in order to be usable in soft serve, you run the risk of adding too much sugar into your base. Over-sugaring your product will not only result in a sickeningly sweet concoction, but it will cause your product to freeze inconsistently. Sugar is a natural anti-freezing agent, so it’s important to be mindful about how much sugar you add to your ice cream bases so you get the right consistency.